Keep your eyes out for the February issue of Tokyo Weekender magazine on the shelves around Tokyo—we hope you can pick your copy up soon, or stay tuned and read our features as we post them online during the month.

You can also get the full magazine through the Apple Newsstand, which will bring a native reading experience to the iPad, or through Magzster.

February 2015 Editor’s Note

Even if you chalk it up as mere coincidence, the fact that a small boat from a Tohoku high school, swept away by the 2011 tsunami, could wash up two years later on the shores of Northern California has something to tell us about how connected we are on this planet. And the fact that students in a small Northern California town chose to restore that boat and give it back to Takata High School has something to tell us about how to build connections across borders.

It’s a hopeful thing, then, that Tokyo’s varied international schools seem to be renewing their efforts of instilling their students with a global perspective. As we see, one school may do this by establishing ties with schools in poorer nations. Others might do it by engaging more closely with the Japanese community around the school itself, while others look to inspire kids to approach problems—be they coding challenges or societal concerns—with a creative mindset.

However, as one of our cover stories points out, Japan may be facing a considerable difficulty in filling its schools if a worrying dynamic continues unabated. Marriage rates, and with them, the number of new children born every year, have been declining steadily over the past decades, and policy makers, pundits and prognosticators can’t seem to agree on just how to reverse the trend. Our look into the matter suggests that there are a lot of questions to confront, but not as many answers as we’d like.

And finally, this is the month when a certain four-letter word is around town and on everyone’s lips, but don’t let that lead you to believe that there isn’t time enough for love during the other eleven months of the year. If there’s anything that recent events have shown us, it’s that the world could use more of it—not necessarily the star-crossed variety, or the stuff of grand gestures, but a willingness to keep an open heart, care, and act, even when it hurts.

—Alec Jordan
TW Editor